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8 Techno Thriller Movies to Hack Your Nerves

Danger is just one click away.

techno thriller movies
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  • Photo Credit: United Artists

Whether it's smartphones, GPS software, government computers, or even thermostats, technology has an unshakeable grip over our daily lives. So just how easy would it be to use that grip for evil? The techno-thriller genre explores every heart-pounding possibility of that scenario.

Are you terrified of having your identity stolen? Anxious that one day artificial intelligence is going to go too far? These eight techno-thriller movies are ready and waiting for you.


The 90s and the Aughts were rife with films exploring anxieties over technological advancements. The 1992 film Sneakers is perhaps one of the best, adding some comedy to the techno-thriller genre. Security specialist Martin Bishop (Robert Redford) has a seedy past as a hacker, which comes back to haunt him when two government agents recruit him to retrieve a very important asset from a mathematician. As certain truths come to light, the mission grows more and more dangerous. The stacked cast also includes Dan Aykroyd, Ben Kingsley, Mary McDonnell, River Phoenix, Sidney Poitier, and David Strathairn. 


A more recent addition to the techno-thriller genre, this 2018 film is set in the near future. In this uneasy new world, technology controls almost every facet of one's life. After a mysterious accident in a self-driving car kills his wife and leaves him paralyzed, technophobe Grey Trace (Logan Marshall-Green) sees his entire life unravel. His one chance at hope—and revenge—is an experimental computer chip implant.

Eagle Eye

Jerry Shaw (Shia LaBeouf) is a Stanford dropout mourning the loss of his veteran twin brother. Rachel Holloman (Michelle Monaghan) is a single mother who would do anything for her son. When a mysterious phone call throws the two of them together, everything they hold dear is on the line as an unidentified woman forces them to carry out dangerous tasks by tracking their every move through common technology.


A group of teenage hackers lands in hot water when one of their own, Dade Murphy (Jonny Lee Miller), hacks into a supercomputer owned by the Ellingson Mineral Corporation. As Dade unwittingly stumbles upon a  conspiracy to defraud the company owner, he and his friends are framed for a plot to plant a computer virus aimed at sinking a fleet of oil tankers. This film also stars Angelina Jolie,  Jesse Bradford, Matthew Lillard, Laurence Mason, Renoly Santiago, Fisher Stevens, and more.


After Julia (Maika Monroe) is kidnapped, she finds herself implanted with a chip collecting neural data for AI. Realizing that previous test subjects didn't make it out alive, she must find a way to escape the smart house holding her captive. Her only hope? Reasoning with the artificial intelligence in charge of the technology.


When David Kim (John Cho) realizes his 16-year-old daughter is missing, he and Detective Rosemary Vick (Debra Messing) turn to her technology for answers. They soon find that an internet presence can be just as dangerous as it can be helpful…

Strange Days

Set at the turn of the century, this film follows former cop Lenny Nero (Ralph Fiennes). In these dark days in Los Angeles, an illegal electronic device called SQUID has permeated the streets, recording memories and physical sensations directly from the wearer's cerebral cortex. Lenny makes his living now by selling SQUID recordings on the black market, but soon finds himself tangled up in a deadly conspiracy.

The Net

Freelance systems analyst Angela Bennett (Sandra Bullock) is practically a ghost, spending most of her time on the internet. When a dangerous conspiracy falls into her lap, the scraps of her life are turned upside down—or rather, completely erased. With her identity wiped from existence, she must do everything she can to keep herself and her loved ones safe.